In an age where “greenwashing” is more prevalent than ever, it’s difficult to determine which organizations are genuinely seeking answers– let alone solutions – to the challenges we face today. Skipso, based in London and Del Mar, California, is doing both.
The organization offers an array of services, functioning as an aggregation site for clean technology and sustainability experts. Its Open Innovation Lab is what truly sets Skipso apart.
Currently, this online feature is the first of its kind focused entirely on sustainability and clean technology. Through Skipso’s Web site, “seeker” companies can post their business or technical challenges. Innovators from the Skipso community (“solvers”) can then submit their solutions. The person or organization that submits the winning solution gets awarded a cash prize by the seeker company.
The scenarios are as diverse as the companies that submit them. For example, one such challenge is currently posted by myclimate, an international climate protection organization based in Zurich, Switzerland. The non-profit foundation offers carbon management services and promotes carbon neutrality via the principle of high quality voluntary CO2 offsetting. The challenge: “myclimate is looking for innovative concepts to secure and expand the sourcing of carbon offsetting projects. [Submit] the most compelling concept for myclimate to find and approach Cleantech companies, technology providers and other organizations that apply and implement CO2-reducing technologies and initiatives in developing countries, mainly in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency.” The prize: $5,000”.
Other seeker companies benefitting from the Skipso Innovation Lab include: the student competition “Cleantech Challenge 2010” by the London Business School ($7’500 prize), the “Green Lighting Challenge” by G.C. Illumination ($10,000 prize), or the “Rwanda Rural Electrification Challenge” by Swiss NGO Mabawa ($2,500).
“Climate change asks for dramatic innovation efforts,” said Skipso co-founder Carlo Soresino. “Only with global, collaborative problem-solving we will be able to address these challenges in a timely manner. I firmly believe that Open Innovation will revolutionize whole business models and many industries. We offer Open Innovation as one of our key services due to several reasons: it’s a proven innovation method, it’s cost-effective, fast, and fun!”